Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2017

A Contradictory Life

It goes without saying that Jesus has been a figure of much discussion and dispute throughout the ages. One of the main reasons why is because Jesus was and is a person of contradictions. Not saying that he himself was contradictory, but that his style, message and livelihood was contradictory to his society and still to ours. His very coming into the world was contradictory to the idea that people held towards how the messiah should come into the world. His teachings were and are contradictory to the rules and way of society. He himself rid of the retribution mentality so alive during that time and instead preached about loving your enemy and turning your cheek to them.

    Today is another example of the contradictions of his message. For the past couple of weeks the pharisees have been trying to trap Jesus and catch him in saying something wrong so has to be able to kill him. However, Jesus has always cleverly seen their evil intent and answered in ways even challenged the ph…

Grow in Me

Grow, Jesus, grow in me.  In my spirit,  in my hear,  in my imagination,  in my senses.  Grow in me in your gentleness, in your purity,  in your humility,  your zeal, your love. Grow in me with your grace, your light and your peace.  Grow in me for the glorification of your father,  for the greater honour of God.
AMEN
( Prayer taken from YOUCAT pg 71)


Examples

As I grew up and was going through school, as I reached junior high and senior year of school, one thing we were constantly told by our teachers at my Catholic school was that we must be good examples for the younger grades. We were told to be enthused and participate in activities because in a small school of a max of 250 students, the younger grades always looked up to the older grades.  In a way the teachers made us responsible, by saying this, for how the rest of the school participated. Regardless if their passionate speeches to us worked, it was still eye opening of the real power we held as "the older kids" with our lack of or truly present enthusiasm.

    I believe all of us have a calling for something more in life; a desire that extends beyond the materialistic world around us. The desire for something greater than life, for something that can make us feel fully alive. Throughout societies we have found this desire, this emptiness being filled by many things …

For the Love of God [Prayer!]

Author of love and compassion, you never cease to pour out your love onto your adopted sons and daughters.  For you are always helping those, whom ask for your help and granting them their hearts desires. You Oh Father, are pure love, and you are the perfect example of love and how to love one another. As author of love itself, you have loved me immensely and have offered me the perfect example of love; sacrificing my life for a friend. 
Help me to experience your love in my life today. May my eyes be opened to see your loving hand working within the activities I do this day.
 Following in your example, may I love others as you have loved me. Help me to follow in your footsteps of love, and to make sacrifices for others. 
May I be so inspired and free to be able to love freely, as you freely love everyone of your children. May I not withhold my love from anyone, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, or what they have done to me. May the love you have given me, radi…

The Banquet Of the Lord

My parish church is quite different in its liturgical set up compared to the typical Catholic parish. The altar and the Sanctuary, for instance, is situated in the middle of the church with all the pews surrounding it in a cross shape. So as you sit in one section you are facing the altar and at the same time can see the face of the people sitting across from you and to your sides. This, in my mind, is a great way of living and expressing our faith in a community. A theological saying that best summarizes it is,  We the body of Christ are gathered around the altar to receive the body of Christ.  We not only see the body of Christ in the Eucharist but at the same time can see the body of the Christ sitting across and next to us. We are surrounded around the table of the Lord, to partake of the heavenly banquet that he has prepared.






     As the liturgical year begins to wind-down we begin to hear the parables and readings with rich eschatological themes and  theology. All culminati…

A Prayer For the Day

Father of immeasurable goodness, 
Look kindly upon me this day, 
And guide my footsteps more and more to follow yours. 
Help me to find you, hidden in the day, 
And help me to understand the messages and lessons you are teaching me through this day,
AMEN


Labouring For God

Even though I am still quite young, something great that I have continuously noticed, and thanked God for, is how the unexpected people, normally will have the biggest impact in life.  Be it the kids from the poor town in El Salvador, or the youth minister in High school or the elderly family in Poland, or the man who is a customer at my workplace who is homeless, or the children I teach. In these circumstances, where often my own ideas and my own prejudgments  made it seem as if these would just be some more people I see in my life, when really, they become very personally significant. The people who God had chosen, who I would have never predicted to be someone special or significant, essentially has.

    This really is how God works. He uses and calls the people who we do not think or who we sometimes judge to be unworthy or unimportant. God will use those who we do not expect and teach us many things that are profound and for a particular reason.

    In todays Gospel, we hea…

Focus Prayer

My loving Jesus,       You have planted me in this world, in this time, for your perfect will and reason. Though I may face struggles and hardships, Thank you for the situations you have placed me in to experience and learn from. 
     This world is faced with many distractions Lord, distractions that take me away from you. I am often encouraged and told by society, strangers and even friends to do things contrary to your law, and to break my relationship with you. It is easy Lord, to lose focus on you among these encouragements, and business of my day, I am sorry for the times I have not been focused and mindful of you. 
     Amid all the distractions and stress I face today, help me to stay focused on you. Help me to stay keep always in my focus, never letting your love for me and everyone else leave my thoughts. Strengthen me as I resolve to try to remain more focused on you, for when I do, I know that everything falls into place and that you lead me down the right paths. 
Help me…

Limitless Forgiveness

Growing up I have been given a numerous amount of opinions and life advice from numerous amount of people, especially about forgiveness. Some people have insisted that you should only forgive someone once, for what they have done, others are committed to the two-chance rule. Still others tell me not to forgive if its it highly server, and many say that forgiveness should only come after they have pleaded for it. But one persons advice has always stuck out to me, even as a kid and it was this " Forgive not seven times, but seventy-seven times."

     This weekends Gospel from Matthew 18: 21:35 is an exact continuation from last weekends reading and so Jesus is talking about forgiveness again. This time, Peter approaches Jesus, and after hearing how we are to forgive one another, he asks Jesus the legitimate question: " How often should I forgive my brother or sister if they sin against me? As many as seven times?" Peter of course would have understood the backgr…

Good Shepherd Prayer

Jesus my Shepherd,  You are always good and perfect;  Your love surrounds me,  Your staff guides me,  and Your voice calls me. 
I cannot thank you enjoy  My Shepherd,  for all times you have: protected me, strengthened me,  loved me,  carried me through,  brought me to green pastures,  lead me to flowing waters,  helped me in tough situations,  and blessed me when I needed it the most. 
With my simple and humble heart I thank you fully Lord for being my Good Shepherd. 
Renew in me:  the faith to recognize your voice more in my life,  the understanding to follow your staff,  the wisdom to know your blessing,  the grace to be able to trust you more and more and the joy of hearing your voice. 
For I love you with my entire heart, my eternal and loving Father! 
AMEN 





Radical Forgiveness

Every year I am fortunate enough to teach the first Penance classes at my parish. One of the greatest challenges I face is actually teaching the kids the concept and practice of forgiveness. Forgiveness is one of the most fundamental teachings in the church but to teach mere seven-year-olds forgiveness in a way that is truly conceptualized and practiced is a task almost impossible to teach in class. I struggle teaching forgiveness, because the true and heart-felt forgiveness of Christ is a radical forgiveness, and one that is hard to embrace even for the most faithful adult.

     When I was in Poland last year for World Youth Day, during the year of mercy, I heard quite often that "we must be forgiven before we can forgive." Of course this was the call to reconciliation and to turn ourselves back to Christ because only through our own personal conversion are we able to share that mercy and strong embrace from God with others. But forgiveness is first given to us, by Go…

Thinking Like Christ

Last week as I scrolled through my Instagram I came across this very inspirational photo of a couple standing in their flooded home from hurricane Harvey. The couple had a smile on their face and together were holding a framed painting of the bible verse " The Lord stood with me and gave me strength" (2 Timothy 4: 17) and then another photo I saw was a selfie of someone who stood in their flooded home, with a painting on their wall with the verse " The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving" (Psalm 28:7). These photos were inspirational because even among the hell they are facing, they still knew and remembered that God was greater than these problems, and they continuously searched for God among these situations.

    As the liturgical year begins to wind down, we begin to hear passages of Christs passion and eventually of the end of times. It begins  today…

Renew In Me This Day- Prayer!

Renew me this day, Father of life, to constantly work for your kingdom on earth.  Renew me this day, O Holy Spirit, the missionary call given by Christ himself, for me to be an apostle in this world.  Renew me this day with freshness and joy, Father of us all, to be able to love those whom are the hardest to love. Let the love I show others be my love for you exemplified.  Renew in me this day, the call to be a witness to Jesus Christ in every situation I find myself in. May I never shy away from those opportunities to proclaim Christ. Renew in me this day the desire for God, when I tempted. Renew in me the strong love for Jesus Christ, your Son O God, and let me never be separated from you.  Renew in me this day, Lord, the devotion to you in the Most Holy Eucharist, and to Mary our mother. May I never fall away from your pretense on earth and from our mother, the perfect example of faith in you.  Renew in me this day, Father of love, a heart of adoration and prayer, to be able to adore you…

A Global Church

In the early beginnings of the church the early Christian communities, defined by those whom Jesus, Peter and Paul had preached to, were faced with the challenge of allowing gentiles, that is non-Jews, into the faith. We begin to hear this challenge tackled in the Acts of the Apostles chapter 15 at the Council of Jerusalem and then more throughout St Pauls letters. The  writer of Gospel of Matthew also tackles this challenge throughout his gospel.  Writing to a Jewish-Christian community, Matthew incorporates elements of what is being experienced present into and highlights those moments from the life Jesus. Matthew would be experiencing the challenge of inclusion of non-jews into the primary Jewish faith of Christianity and the destruction of the temple by the Romans,while he was writing his Gospel. So these common themes or foreshadows will appear more so in his Gospel.

   We see time and time again, that Jesus was not limited to the Jews, nor were the apostles at Pentecost. Je…

Jesus Prayer

Jesus Christ,  Son of the living Father, Have mercy on me, for I am a sinner. 

AMEN


Center

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well
Matthew 6:33
Immediately preceding this phrase, Jesus had just taught about not worrying. He is teaching from the mountain, and he begins to teach about how we must not worry about our material needs. He points out how the flowers of the fields and the birds of the air are all looked after accordingly, so how much more God will look after us. So Jesus, preaching the sermon on the mount, preaches for us not to worry about our material things. 
    This beautiful phrase right at the end of the fascinating and relatable teaching often gets over looked by the reader and preachers. Yet this one phrase summarizes the entire point of the passage and the goal of the Christian life; that Christ should be at the center of our lives then everything else will fall into place. 
So often our society preaches empty messages that, although are alluring, do not hold up when tested. Society loves to teach  'l…

Listen To Him! - The Transfiguration

This weekend, is a rare weekend that we get to celebrate during the Sunday liturgies of Ordinary Time. We celebrate the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. Typically, this feast always lands on August 6th and this year it landed on a Sunday. The church has a hierarchy of  which masses is to be said on which days in the case that multiple feasts, or celebrations land on the same day. For instance today, we have the 18th Sunday Of Ordinary Time and The transfiguration. However, since this feast is a feast of the Lord, it takes precedence  over the Sunday of Ordinary time. So, we are treated with the readings and celebration of the transfiguration
____




     As my airplane was coming in to land in El Salvador a couple years ago, I looked out my plane window and saw a large mountain right in the center of the country. The peak was just barely above the clouds and it broke through the clouds surrounding it. For the first time in my life, as I looked out that window, I saw a mount…